My reasons for voting, not just for McCain, but also against Obama, are almost all premised upon two basic belief systems I hold:
(1) As a general matter, that federal government is best which governs least;
And (2) that country is safest which has a strong military and is willing to use it in its own defense. With those principles in mind, here's my laundry list of reasons for favoring McCain over Obama.1. National Security. While Obama has run from the subject for a long time now, he had made it clear through his own speeches and those of his surrogates that he wishes to do two things that will turn America into a wounded deer, lying there to be savaged by rapacious scavenger nations. First, he intends to remove America instantly from Iraq, despite the fact that we're finally winning. While we all understand that even the best commanders sometimes have to conduct a strategic retreat ("he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day"), it's insane to back out of a fight that one is winning. I don't think it's ever been done at any place in any time. Second, at a time when America is disliked by her friends and loathed by her foes, he wishes to slash the military. He seems to be clueless that, in the real world, you first get people to become your allies, and only then do you lower your defenses.McCain understands that the best defense is the promise that, should anyone attack you, you can and will go powerfully on the offensive. His fundamentally cheerful personality makes it clear that he's not out there looking for trouble but if trouble looks for him, he's ready.In that regard, I have to say that I find it amusing that all the good liberals at my martial arts dojo, the ones who are desperate to unilaterally disarm America, are assiduously training themselves to be strong in case of an unexpected personal attack on the street. It baffles me that they can recognize at a personal level that the strength and training they're developing will not turn them into killing machines, but merely keep them safe; but are unable to extend that basic principle to a national standard.In any event, McCain's entirely successful take on the surge should in itself demonstrate that he understands warfare in the modern era and is the one most likely to be able to protect America from her stated and violent enemies.2. The economy. Neither Obama nor McCain is an economist. Neither understands the minute ebb and flow of the economy. That's fine. We're not electing an economist in chief. But each does have a view of the government's role in the marketplace, and this view will definitely affect the economy.Obama wants to push out individuals and make the state the major player in the market place. How? Redistributive taxes. He wants to take more and more money away from people who have earned it, not simply to fund basic government program such as defense and infrastructure, but to give it to people whom he thinks deserve it. He doesn't believe in a fluid, flexible, reactive marketplace that rewards initiative and hard work. He trusts only the government, which doesn't reward action and initiative, but merely distributes pay based on a victim hierarchy.Fine, you say, but what does this have to do with the economy? Everything.The government does not make money; it only spends money. When you suck money out of the marketplace, there's less to go around, and you create infinitely smaller incentives for the entrepreneurs who create products and jobs. And aside from the lack of incentive, punitive taxes that benefit people who haven't earned money provide a strong disincentive for workers and entrepreneurs. Why should I think, and risk, and create, and sweat, if it's just going to go to the guy who whined about the fact that life is hard? News flash: Life is hard and life is unfair.In a large, heterogeneous society, it makes sense for the government to provide a safety net for those who cannot possibly succeed economically (the aged, the ill, the handicapped), just as it does to provide a safety net for productive people who have fallen on hard times. However, it drains the economy dry to suck money out of the productive segment of the economy only to divvy it up amongst those who feel entitled for no other reason than their identity. Even Obama figured this out when he said at the start of the market's problems that he wouldn't put his tax changes into effect (and, mark you, at that time he'd only been admitting to tax "refunds" made on the backs of small businesses) because it would harm the economy. Well, duh!Fast forward to John McCain. McCain also can't talk economic tech talk, but he understands that people, not government, make money, and make jobs, and have ideas, and show initiative. He understands that, when it comes to the marketplace, the government's job isn't to take over, but to police. It's job is to make sure people don't cheat or abuse their privileges.In that regard, one of my favorite books in the world, To Serve Them All My Days, tells the story of life in a small public boys school in England between the world wars. I mention it here because the wise old headmaster has a good policy. Rather than myriad rules than simply invite evasion, he operates the school on a single principle: "Few rules but unbreakable." This would be an excellent rule for the marketplace, too. Figure out the big cheating problems, and slam down on them. Then see what else flows from that.3. The judiciary. Do you like judges to make it up as they go along, depending on their emotional response to the parties before them? Each judge gets to decide if any given party is a good guy or a bad guy, or if the party belongs to a class of good guys or bad guys. Oh, I almost forgot! The judge also gets to define what constitutes "good" and "bad."If you think that's the appropriate way to run a judiciary that will result in fair rules of law and the reliable application of laws so that individuals and businesses can make future plans, then Obama is the guy for you. Not only is he a member of a political party that believe that judges are uniquely situated to make these kinds of personal decisions, he has also stated that he believes Supreme Court justices should be guided by empathy, not law. And as you all know, we recently learned that he thinks the courts should be used as instruments of economic redistribution of wealth.If, however, you believe that judges are to apply the law equally to all parties before them, regardless of the judge's personal response to any given party, and if you believe that a judge's role is to interpret law, not to make law, McCain is definitely the guy for you. While not as pure as one would wish, there is no doubt, absolutely no doubt whatsoever, that his judiciary will be more of a strict constructionist and less of an activist judiciary than Obama's.By the way, one thing about judges: they're all former lawyers. If you think lawyers are scuzzy (and so many Americans do), why in the world would you want to vest all your trust in judges who are, after all, just lawyers? (Incidentally, let me remind that Obama is also a lawyer).4. Abortion. The abortion issue is actually a subset of the judiciary issue. Despite all the screaming about the fact that Sarah Palin is pro-Life (and she actually walks the walk, rather than just talking the talk), the bottom line is that the president doesn't set abortion policy (nor, of course, does the VP). The only thing a president does that affects abortion is appoint judges.A strict constructionist judge, one who sees the line between adjudicating and legislating, will honestly admit that Roe v. Wade made up a constitutional right where none exists. A strict constructionist judge will then say that, since there is no constitutional (i.e., federal) right, abortion must be decided either by the states or by constitutional amendment. Most states would continue to keep abortion legal, some states would limit it, and one or two might do away with it altogether.There is no doubt but that McCain would appoint judges who wouldn't expand federal abortion rights (since they don't exist in the constitution) and who might in fact limit federal abortion rights (since they don't exist in the constitution). And there is no doubt that Obama, who refused to vote on a law that would allow live-born aborted babies to receive care, would not appoint those judges.5. Freedom of speech. The evidence of your own eyes should convince you that Obama and his party are not committed to free speech. I'll give you a few examples. You can provide the rest.First of all, there's the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which demands that radio stations give equal time to alternative political views, and then insists that the government determine what views get this time. Keep in mind, by the way, that the people advocating this doctrine also contend that NPR, the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, ABCNBCCNNCBSMSNBC, etc., all have no actual political view -- they are, say the Fairness Doctrine advocates, impartial reporters of the news. It's only such nefarious sources as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Fox, Hugh Hewitt, etc., who purvey "biased" material that cannot be allowed to sully American ears, and that must be reduced by 50% (making it unprofitable, of course, for radio stations to carry them in the first place).Suffice to say that, if Obama is president and a Democratic Congress passes the Fairness Doctrine into law, he'll sign the bill with pleasure. If McCain is president, and if the bill isn't veto proof, I can guarantee you he'll veto that bill.There are less than about 12 hours left to the election. The media wants to tell you that this election should be Obama's because he's pretty and speaks well and has a calm temperament and, while we're not supposed to talk about race, he's of a race that will make the whole world happy and let us pat ourselves on our collective backs for being so open-minded. The media, of course, is wrong. This race is about incredibly important issues that will, at the least, affect us for years, and at the most (and worst) change America forever.Even if you're no huge McCain fan because he's not conservative enough, or you're one of those Ivy League conservatives who thinks that Palin isn't "one of us," none of that should matter right now. In a vote between Obama and McCain, for those who cherish freedom from an intrusive federal government and who believe that the federal government's most vital role is national security, the choice should be clear: VOTE FOR MCCAIN
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